It was bad from the start and it never really got better as the Bobcats started the game flat and ended the game flat. The Bobcats blew a 0-0 tie and the 76ers never looked back winning the game 109-91.
Yays (Boy, this will be a short section)
- Boris Diaw shot well, racking up 19 points on 7-12 shooting and nabbed 6 assists to one turnover. However, Elton Brand thoroughly abused Diaw on the boards, grabbing 10 to Boris’ 3.
- Kwame Brown played pretty well. He scored 12 points on 4-6 FG and 4-5 FT and added 7 rebounds. I’m most amazed by his free throw shooting because his technique is so ugly.
- I know I complain about the guy a lot, but kudos to Sherron Collins for scoring his first NBA bucket.
- Defense – The Bobcats lacked energy from the get-go from the starters. They couldn’t close out or defend the three, as usual. Jodie Meeks took full advantage, knocking down 6 three-pointers and 20 points in the first quarter. It was especially painful tonight as it became obvious that our defense is nowhere close to what it was last year. I thought that perhaps there was a chance we could return to our former glory but tonight’s game eliminated all hope I had. Not to be overly-dramatic but it was a little soul-crushing for me, as a fan.
- Substitutions – Why does Dominic McGuire get so much playing time while Derrick Brown sits on the bench? McGuire is a better rebounder which is nice for a team that has some problems with that but any benefits the Bobcats get from the extra possessions McGuire gets are squandered with McGuire’s bad instincts on offense. He takes jump shots when in fact, he hasn’t made a single shot outside of 10 feet (hoopdata). But is there anything else this guy has over Derrick Brown? Brown finds his way to the rim, any way possible, but has a mediocre jump shot game as well. His defense is nothing to laugh at either. Just baffling. I’d argue that much of Diaw’s minutes should have gone to Tyrus but Tyrus was in some minor foul trouble and Boris shot well. However, I feel that Tyrus would be a better match-up against Brand.
- The whole first quarter – You know you’re in for a bad night when Jodie Meeks has 6 three-pointers in the first quarter and the 76ers double up on the Bobcats, 32-16. I don’t think I need to write any more than that. Awful.
- Gerald Wallace – He’s just not the same. Maybe opponents have figured out his “bowl-em-over” offense and have learned how to draw him into charges. This isn’t to say there’s no hope, but he’s not playing at an all-star level so far this year. He had 8 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 assist tonight.
- Coaching – I feel stupid. Last year I defended Larry Brown without remorse. He molded the Bobcats into the best defensive team in the league and brought us to the playoffs for the first time. It seemed he could do little wrong. People said that Larry Brown would want out and that we should want him gone too before he got tired of the team. Being the stubborn idiot I am, I refused to believe it. How could the coach that led us from the cellar of the league give up on the team that was only an 8-seed and get lethargic? How wrong I was. Against the Rockets a week ago, Larry Brown was interviewed on national television. He admitted that he still enjoyed the teaching aspect of the game but no longer enjoyed the games. I don’t doubt that whatsoever. It’s obvious Larry still enjoys teaching the game, as shown by his yearly obsession with his pet projects. He gives valuable minutes to role players like Stephen Graham and Dominic McGuire at the cost of developing young talent. And when your claim to fame as a Hall of Fame coach is defense and you give up 26 points to a guy averaging 7.3 points per game, you’re not what you once were. The Bobcats can’t guard the three-pointer. He’s putting in questionable lineups. I can’t help but feel like there’s a lack of confidence or even team chemistry. I just get the feeling that Larry doesn’t even care much anymore. Yes, he yells from the sidelines but that doesn’t mean much to me. Such lethargy by the starters makes me question these things. You can tell me that it’s the tail end of a back-to-back. But I didn’t see this type of effort much last year, though, even on B2Bs. By all means, the Bobcats should have won this game. We’re much more talented and experienced. And yet, we lost by nearly 20 points.
- And so much more.
Please Bobcats, disprove me. I don’t want you to wallow at the bottom of the NBA. Dr. E said this was a game we needed to win to remain relevant to the Eastern conference playoff discussion. This game proved we are nowhere close at this time. Changes are needed. But Bobcats fans, remain strong. We’ve been through worse; it’s just tough coming after a playoff season that brings great expectations. It’s just a shame that it happened so suddenly and with such a steep decline. On the plus side, I don’t think tickets will be too expensive. SIGH.
- Cardboard Gerald